Federal policy

Budget 2016 signals important research and innovation discussions coming in 2016

 

Here at the Federation, we’ve been picking apart the 2016 federal budget and also keeping an eye out for what our colleagues are saying. There seems to be a solid consensus growing: March 22 was a good day for Canadian scholarship in its many forms.

The Federation’s overall impressions are articulated in our post-budget media release, and a detailed analysis of the budget is available in our 2016 budget briefing note. The following is a brief overview of a few key topics, including issues that we feel are likely to be highly relevant in the coming year.

The 2015 Liberal election platform had no specific promises relating to research funding, so it was a welcome surprise to see a funding increase of $95 million split between the...

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Why we need to remove the uncertainty around assisted dying

 

This op-ed was published in The HIll Times on February 29, 2016

Jocelyn Downie is a professor in the faculties of law and medicine at Dalhousie University. She has advised several official committees on assisted dying, such as the Canadian Senate Committee on Euthanasia and Assisted Suicide. Prof. Downie presented a lecture on assisted dying on Parliament Hill on Feb. 23 as a part of the Big Thinking lecture series hosted by the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences.

The Supreme Court of Canada has made it clear that patients who meet the Carter criteria should have access to physician-...

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Pre-budget 2016 submission: The Federation calls for investments in research, in student mobility, and to support reconciliation with Aboriginal peoples

In this year’s budget season, the Federation is urging the federal government to make significant investments to support scholarly research, student mobility and reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Canadians through the postsecondary system.

Each year, the Federation submits a set of recommendations to the federal government through the annual budget consultation process. Our recommendations are designed to reflect the priorities of Canada’s social scientists and humanities scholars, and also to support public policies that benefit all Canadians.

Our recommendations for 2016 are based on the understanding that Canadians face growing challenges in the 21st century, such as adapting to technological change, creating jobs in an increasingly knowledge-driven economy, reducing carbon emissions and building social inclusion. As a response to these challenges, we are making the following recommendations:

Invest in research:...

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Fresh Air and New Hope for Canada and Human Rights

 

John Packer, Director, Human Rights Research and Education Centre, University of Ottawa

This blog was prepared for the celebration of Human Rights Day 2015. 

There is a palpable sense of relief within the human rights community following the federal election results of October 19th.  Notwithstanding some commitments and investments in selected matters like religious freedom and LGBTQ rights, the past decade has been one of substantial damage to human rights in Canada, and our generally positive reputation abroad (if not always fully merited) took a broad and deep hit.   

With the new majority Government in Ottawa, Canada claims to be “back” – not least in terms of...

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Why are we still debating diversity versus merit in 2015?

 

Susan Franceschet, University of Calgary; Karen Beckwith, Case Western Reserve University; Claire Annesley, University of Sussex

Canada’s first gender-equal cabinet is being celebrated by equality and diversity advocates but criticized by those who believe that using selection criteria like gender, race, or ethnicity violates merit. Those who trumpet merit believe that selection to high-level positions like cabinet or corporate boards must be based on demonstrable skills, achievements, and credentials with no consideration of the other characteristics of the individuals holding those credentials. In fact, critics of quotas as a mechanism to ensure diversity go a step further, arguing that quotas will lead to the...

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Stephen Toope: How sound science policy can make Ottawa better

 

This op-ed was published in The Hill Times on November 2, 2015

Stephen Toope, President, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences; Director, Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto

The new government will soon take office, carrying with it the hopes of a broad range of Canadians. And for those of us who value scientific research—either because we use it in our professional lives or simply because we value its role in a modern knowledge society—there are many reasons to be optimistic.

The role of science in democracy, good policy and...

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Knowledge matters in our election

Joan Sangster, President, Canadian Historical Association and Stephen Toope, President, Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences

Following five televised leaders’ debates in the 2015 Canadian federal election, Joan Sangster, President of the Canadian Historical Association and Stephen Toope, President of the Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences weigh in on the critical but often overlooked role of expert research, knowledge production and reliable evidence in shaping our understanding of the urgent political issues debated during elections.

Ah, nothing like election debates to demonstrate just how contested “facts” can be. In all five debates to date, party leaders backed up their assertions with facts, each claiming that...

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Pre-budget 2016 submission: Investments needed in research, student mobility, and in support of reconciliation with Aboriginal peoples

 

Each year, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance asks Canadians to identify their priorities for the upcoming federal budget. In response, the Federation puts forward recommendations pertaining to the social science and humanities community, noting ways in which federal funding could bolster these disciplines, research, scholars and students.

The Standing Committee on Finance renewed its annual summer call for submissions to feed into Budget 2016, but halted the process when Parliament was dissolved on August 2, 2015. We have posted our initial budget submission document here to inform members and stakeholders of the three key priorities that need Government attention: investing in research, creating opportunities for student mobility, and supporting Reconciliation, which includes improving access to post-secondary education...

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On National Aboriginal Day, what does reconciliation mean to you?

Jean-Paul Restoule, Associate Professor of Aboriginal Education at OISE/University of Toronto

Remember when National Aboriginal Day was called National Aboriginal Solidarity Day? Just weeks after the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) released its final report, we would do well to consider the critical role solidarity plays in reconciliation.

Achieving genuine reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in Canada is a responsibility we all share. We can’t wait for our governments or our administrative heads to make change.  ...

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SSH News: April 23, 2015 (Budget Edition)

 

This week, SSH News is focusing on the response to the federal budget announcement by different groups and individuals in Canadian higher education and the media. Cette semaine, SSH News se concentre sur la réponse à l'annonce du budget fédéral par différents groupes et individus dans l'enseignement supérieur et les médias au Canada: 

Federation of the Humanities and Social Sciences | Fédération des sciences humaines
Federal budget 2015 invests in research and innovation | Le budget fédéral 2015...

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